Conab has released the results of its national crop survey and reported that the Brazilian sugar and alcohol sector will grind a record-breaking volume of sugarcane this year. Total harvest is expected to reach an estimated 629 million tons, a 10 percent increase over 2008. The increase in production is attributed to both good rains and expanded planted area, which reached 7.74 million hectares.
Approximately 55 percent of the crop, or 438.56 million tons, is intended for ethanol production, which will generate 9.13 billion liters of anhydrous-type fuel (to be added to gasoline) and 18.68 billion liters of hydrated alcohol (to be sold as fuel at the pumps). These figures represent respectively a reduction of 9.30 percent and an increase of 12.41 percent In total, there will be 27.80 billion gallons of ethanol, or 4.22 percent more than the 26.68 billion gallons produced last season.
“Most Brazilian mills are capable of producing both ethanol and sugar, which gives the industry flexibility to opt for production of one or the other,” said Conab’s Agribusiness Information Superintendent Airton Camargo. He said the favorable price on the international market has led industries to prefer the food production.
Last week, the Energy Information Administration released the ethanol production numbers for June 2009 (for U.S. only) noting that U.S. production is on the rise with record setting production. With record ethanol production in both the U.S. and Brazil, Growth Energy announced a campaign last week during the Farm Progess Show to label ethanol’s country of origin in an attempt to gain consumer support for the fuel to be American made.